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A Finnish town bids for the summer Olympics as a novel attention-getter

Publié le : 12 mai 2022 à 07:41
Dernière mise à jour : 5 juillet 2022 à 10:58
Par Bernard Deljarrie

The Finnish town of Salla submitted a bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics with a logo, a video clip and press relations to draw attention to the future of Lapland. What was the outcome of this publicity stunt ?

The city of Salla is said to be one of the coldest places in Finland, with winter temperatures quite frequently reaching -40 °C. And even in summer, the 4,000 residents of this town in Lapland don’t feel the heat, with temperatures seldom reaching 15 °C.

Be that as it may, in early 2021 the town kicked off a communications campaign to promote its bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

The campaign clip has already been viewed over 400,000 times and sparked responses all over the world. And that was the whole point: the campaign is designed to warn the world about climate warming and Lapland’s particular vulnerability to its effects. The video is backed by a campaign website,, which provides information about the climate emergency and possible ways to address it, offers a fictional online store, and presents the mascot for the 2032 Olympics: Kesä (“summer” in Finnish), a reindeer of the same type as Father Christmas’s reindeers.

If climate change is not taken seriously, Lapland’s snow-covered tundra will soon become a beach volleyball court and the frozen river will become an ideal spot for surfing competitions, announced the Mayor of Salla, Erkki Parkkinen: “We hope our little ‘Save Salla, Save the Planet’ campaign will make more people think about the issue and do something positive for the climate.” The video clip comes with various other initiatives that can be found on the campaign’s website. The creation of a fake mascot, a fictional shop and a number of posters by artists from all over the world no doubt played a significant role in its popularity.

This civic-minded initiative has brought Salla a hitherto-unknown notoriety and will enhance the region’s appeal. Given that tourism was a major revenue source before the Covid years, promoting the country as a travel destination is undoubtedly part of the motivation for this latest initiative. The town is concerned about climate warming and fighting to have an old railway line reinstated so that visitors can reach the region by an eco-friendly form of transport.